Autonomous Robot Surgeon More Accurate than Human Surgeons in Recent Experiment

Published by , October 16, 2017 12:18 pm

(SpectrumIEEE)  Researchers showed the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) makes more precise cuts than expert surgeons, and damages less of the surrounding flesh. In the experiment, STAR went head-to-head with expert surgeons on a cutting task in pig skin. (In the video, this part starts around 1:10.)
Both the robot and the humans were judged based on how much they deviated from the ideal cut line of the desired length, as well as how much char (damaged flesh) surrounded the incision. The results: STAR’s cuts were closer in length to 5 centimeters, they deviated less from the ideal cut line, and they resulted in less char. The researchers had STAR cut a fake tumor (made of clay) out of a piece of pig fat; a thin piece of tissue was placed above the fake tumor to make it harder for the robot to see its target. Again, the robot performed its cuts with great accuracy that would bode well for a cancer patient under its care.

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